The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary conservation program that has been around for almost 30 years. The program is authorized under the Farm Bill and is administered by the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) in each county.
Eligible participants temporarily take certain areas out of crop production in exchange for an annual rental rate payment. These areas are then seeded to perennial vegetation such as native grass and wildflowers which provide direct benefits to our soil, water, and wildlife resources. CRP is a perfect fit for cropland that is marginal and/or difficult to farm.
Opportunities to enroll in CRP the last few years have been very limited. However, we are currently in the middle of a sign up for both general and continuous CRP. This offers landowners and producers the opportunity to work with their local USDA Service Centers to identify areas that would benefit from enrollment into this conservation program.
CRP can protect highly erodible soils on your farm, offer more profitable alternative to areas that flood or drown out, provide a protective buffer around water bodies, and simultaneously create habitat that is vital to wildlife.
If you would like to learn about what CRP options are available on your property, please contact Holly Shutt with Pheasants Forever at (785) 294-2004 or your local USDA Service Center.
The USDA Service Center for Louisa County is located in Wapello and can be reached at (319) 572-8068 extension #3. The USDA Service Center for Des Moines County is located in Burlington and can be reached at (319) 753-6221 extension #3.